How the Pandemic Disrupted Recruiting and How a Pending Recession May Do it Again
COVID-19 has disrupted the way companies recruit top talent.
The next recession may do it again.
Recruiters must adapt and now contend with a more mobile workforce, a lack of qualified candidates, and an increased focus on remote work.
In this article, we’ll explore how these factors have changed the recruiting landscape and what internal and independent recruiters can do to adapt.
Let’s dive in.
The Rise of a Mobile, Remote Workforce
The workforce is more mobile than ever before, thanks to the rise of remote work and telecommuting. This has made it more difficult for recruiters to find qualified candidates, as potential employees can now choose to work from anywhere.
In addition, the pandemic has led to an increased focus on remote work, as companies are now wary of bringing large groups of people together in one place. This has made it even more difficult for recruiters to assess candidates’ skills and abilities.
A Dearth of Qualified Candidates
The pandemic has led to a shortage of qualified candidates, as many people have left the workforce or are unwilling to switch jobs during a recession. This has made it more difficult for recruiters to find qualified candidates, as potential employees are now choosing to work from anywhere.
In fact, many would-be employees are choosing to take pay cuts so they can have the flexibility of working and living from just about anywhere. This has made it more difficult for companies to find qualified, quality candidates for their open roles.
Companies Adapt, Refocus on Remote
Companies wary of bringing large groups of people together in one place quickly adapted to remote work, which further changed how companies looked at things like remote security, workforce retention, workforce management and team dynamics.
However, the adaptation to a remote environment has actually made it more difficult for many internal and external recruiters to make a complete in-person assessment of candidates’ skills and abilities.
Global Competition for Top Talent
Now that companies are realizing the benefits of remote work, the competition for top remote talent has become more global.
This means that a U.S. based workforce is now competing directly with highly-skilled candidates from around the globe. In many cases, such candidates are willing to put in long hours and work in non-native, inconvenient time zones.
Candidate Demand Spike in Healthcare and Technology
The pandemic has increased the demand for workers in certain sectors, such as healthcare and technology.
The increase in demand in very specific niches has created a false sense of new normal among both workers and employers, which is likely to be normalized should we go into a deep recession in the medium and long term.
At the moment, these sectors remain strong.
Platforms Have Become a Necessity
Social media, and particularly Linkedin, have become important tools for recruiting top talent.
Tools like Linkedin Recruiter have been helpful, but many recruiters have been digging deeper into Facebook and Instagram than ever before as a remote way of doing deep due diligence on the talent they are looking to source. These means help to vet candidates who may be lacking professionalism in their personal life.
In addition, certain job search boards and other online tools have become helpful for both candidates and employers who have become accustomed to operating and applying remotely for new and changing positions.
Competition Has Heightened
Recruiters at even small remote companies must now compete with larger organizations that offer generous perks and benefits packages.
In order to compete, many smaller organizations have felt the pinch and, of necessity, have increased their offers and employment packages, especially when they are in desperate need to fill critical roles.
Recruiters Get More Creative
The pandemic has forced companies and recruiters to be more creative in their recruiting strategies.
In order to attract top talent in a competitive market, recruiters have become more creative in their strategies. This has included things like offering more competitive compensation packages and increasing the use of social media platforms to assess candidates’ qualifications.
Many companies are also looking for new ways to assess candidates’ skills and abilities, as it is now more difficult to do so in a traditional interview setting. This has led to an increase in the use of online tools and platforms that allow for a more holistic view of potential employees.
Job Hopping and The Great Resignation
The recession has led to an increase in job hopping, which benefits recruiters who focus on retention strategies.
The great resignation is the mass exodus of employees that leave their jobs all at once.
The great resignation usually happens when a company is going through hard times and employees are looking for ways to improve their situation.
The pandemic has already led to an increase in job hopping, and the next recession may lead to an even greater resignation as employees leave their jobs in search of better opportunities.
Quality, Qualified Contractors Over W-2 Employees
The rise of contract work has made it easier for recruiters to find qualified candidates
Fortunately, there are a number of things internal and independent recruiters can do to adapt to these changes. Here are a few tips:
1. Use social media, including Linkedin and Indeed, to reach a wider audience.
Recruiters can use social media platforms, such as Linkedin and Indeed, to reach a wider audience of potential candidates.
2. Focus on skills assessment rather than physical assessment.
Recruiters can improve their skills assessment by using online tools and platforms that allow for a more holistic view of potential employees. In addition, they can focus on assessing candidates’ skills rather than their physical abilities. This will help them to find the best talent in a competitive market.
3. Promote telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements, offering benefits above and beyond pay and healthcare.
How can companies improve remote work?
There are a number of things companies can do to improve their remote work programs, including:
- Promote telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements. Offering telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements can help to attract top talent and improve employee satisfaction.
- Assess skills remotely. It is now more difficult to assess candidates’ skills and abilities in a traditional interview setting. Companies can improve their assessment by using online tools and platforms that allow for a more holistic view of potential employees.
- Train managers on how to effectively manage remote workers. Managers who are not familiar with managing remote workers may find it difficult to do so effectively. Training managers on how to manage remote workers can help to improve the effectiveness of the remote work program.
4. Collaborate with other recruiters
Collaborate with other recruiters and industry experts to source candidates and find new placement opportunities. One way that recruiters can collaborate together is by sharing resources and pooling their networks to find qualified candidates.
They can also collaborate by sharing information about the latest recruiting trends and strategies. This will help them to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and improve their recruitment strategies.
Lastly, recruiters can collaborate by working together to create training modules for managers on how to effectively manage remote workers. This will help to improve the effectiveness of the remote work program for companies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to reconsider the way they recruit top talent. The rise of a mobile, remote workforce, the dearth of qualified candidates, and the increased focus on remote work have made it more difficult for recruiters to assess candidates’ skills and abilities. In order to adapt, both internal and independent recruiters must focus on building relationships with potential candidates and assessing their skills and abilities through online platforms. As the competition for top talent has become more global, it is expected that recruiters must be more creative in their staffing strategies to source the right talent for critical roles.
How the Pandemic Disrupted Recruiting and How a Pending Recession May Do it Again was originally published on ReadWrite.com on Nov. 2, 2022, by Nate Nead. Featured Image: Provided by the author. Thank you!